How do I handle seeing my ex-metamour for the first time in a social situation?
Hey guys! Me again.
This weekend coming up G, K, and I have a lot going on, and G has raised questions about how to handle it.
Since G's last relationship with her first secondary ended in a giant explosion of lies, triggers, mistrust, and overall crazypantsness, we've been closed, save for our relationship with K, which is still going strong and proving very rewarding.
K comes to town this weekend, and it will be the first time we've had alone time with her in four months. SO EXCITED!!! We planned to take her to a certain dance party that we go to every few months. Lots of our friends, lots of past-but-peaceful FWBs, lots of sexy poly people all over the place. It's kind of like… prom, but instead of tuxes there are cut-off jeans. SUPER fun, often debaucherous. K has never been, so we really want to bring her.
K is aware of the situation between me, G, and this third party. K has met, and made out heavily with, the third party during a past visit. Third party will more than likely be attending the same party.
G has asked me how she is "allowed to act" around TP (third party). And I have trouble answering. I've never policed "how she acts" around anyone, save for asking her not to sleep with someone when I was struggling and she'd been lying. I'm not that kind of SO, I don't really think about how she is "allowed" to act. G asks whether she should "pretend not to know her," which would just be silly. (It feels like she's trying to provoke me when she poses that as though it's even an option, but I digress.)
So I told G it's okay to go and say hello to TP, greet her, chat. But that it will be hard for me while she does, so please be sensitive to that by making sure she shows me love, squeezes me, is present for me, before and after they talk. It will help that K will be there for added support, so I think it will be fine (though, that can be hard, when K is there for me about G's stuff, because G feels like she lacks the tools to comfort me that K has, and perhaps in some ways, she does). But she's also asking me about how to hang out in a certain party household of our mutual friends that TP hangs out in, and whether she is "allowed" to go there if TP may or may not be present. This is hard not only on my mistrust for them being alone together (which is improving but I remain weary), but also for logistical reasons. I live much closer to that house, so if she stays out past 12 there, she can't get back to her part of town (the trains stop running). So if she goes, I have to either go with her (one option) or let her crash with me when she gets home from being there solo. I've told her it's okay to talk to TP, and to keep flirting in check (soft limit; G is flirty and it's one thing I love about her, but flirting with TP would send a mixed signal). I've warned her to make sure she not leave anything out when she gets back (if they talk, say they talked, don't say they didn't just to make it easy on me. NO MORE LIES. But details can be left out, so she and TP can maintain a level of privacy.)
I've also said that if we are invited to the house after the party (more than likely), not to accept invitations off the bat without checking in with us first, to avoid awkwardness.
I haven't seen TP in two months, since everything blew up. Since then, I've learned a lot about G's lying tactics throughout their brief relationship. So I feel like better question is, how on earth do *I* act around TP?? Because I don't even know where to start. And I have no frame of reference for how she feels because I've cut contact with her while I heal from all this.
Of course, skipping the party is an option, but I feel like that's avoidy. Eventually we all three will learn to make peace,. It just can't all happen in one day. But this will be the start.
Pointers? Insights? I just want this weekend to be fun. :o
I'm glad you guys are healing. But I don't blame you for feeling wiggy a bit. State your wants, needs, limits. Straight up.
You sound like you are doing that.
Is there a limit on drinks? Drugs? Kink? -- Things that could impair her judgement?
How about focussing on what you DO want rather than what you do not want?
I want you to
There will be other annual parties. But there will be no other first annual party since the crazy time. Your behavior at this one will affect your trustability growing back or not more than any other party ever will. Choose your behavior well.
I cannot control you. I cannot control how you behave. I want to be able to trust you. Thank you for taking my considerations on board by asking me about my feelings. I like that.
Then see how she behaves and how she holds her own leash.
When you guys leave and who stays where -- seems easier over all to have the trio talk NOW. Come to agreement on that before going in how the party ending happens. That can help reduce the stress for you and G doesn't have too remember to many directions in the moment. The more relaxed you can all be there the better for all!
monogamishSF, I just have to say I love that you call her 'TP' (I couldn't help but giggle).
And I loved what GalaGirl said. For me, stating what I want has most often proved rewarding.
NovemberRain: I giggled too. ;)
But to both of your comments: this is all fine and dandy, I have no problem stating what I want, and G is well-versed. She often needs me to tell her a few times in order to retain the info, which makes me talk even MORE about what I want. And by that time, G comes at me for "always" considering my OWN feelings and never considering hers. I've asked her to be more explicit about what she needs from me in this situation, and it's clear she's not as good at stating what she needs. She's afraid of being "yelled at constantly." But I told her if she doesn't pull any shady business (and in this situation I don't think she will try), then I have nothing to "yell" about.
But right now, one of her stated needs is to be able to hang out with these people freely, when they call her to hang out, and I don't actually feel too weird about that prospect. I would feel weird going with her, yet. But they are all my friends too (I introduced them all). I feel more weird that she'll tell half-truths to me about how it went thereafter, and what her level of contact is with TP. Right now, they don't speak, and if they start sharing spaces again, they will have to grow SOMEthing. I don't expect them to ignore each other, you know?
But anyway, yeah, apparently I'm too willing to state what I want, so G feels I "make everything about me." But I hear her out and respond. Maybe what she's frustrated with is just the limits that are a direct result of her actions, and is trying to guilt me into shifting my needs to make her now-complicated life a little easier. No thanks.
But then, maybe I do make everything about me! I mean, you've seen how long my posts are...
Do you give her opportunity to air out her OWN wants, needs, and limits?
If you give that and she does not want to use the opportunity it is NOT you hogging the show and "making it all about you. "
It is her not using the air time opportunity. That's on her. If she is not ready to articulate she can always open her mouth and go "I am not ready to articulate yet. I know I want some air time on this, but I need gather my thoughts time first. I will check in Friday."
Speak up. People cannot mind reader you. And if you do not speak up to assert youself?
Can't complain when people move on without your input because they cannot mind reader you. This is NOT them being selfish or making it all about them. Can't hold up the planet for you not wanting to speak up for yourself and your own wants, needs, limits.
"Please clarify. When you say I make everything about me...It's not fun to hold a squirmy partner accountable but until you do, they will continue to Teflon Kid sliiiiiiide and coast along.
Things have changed and G will test you to see how well you stick to the new way of going or not. We teach others how we want to be treated.
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